For the video version, check out my video on writing a compelling LinkedIn summary
A compelling LinkedIn summary has the potential to really set your LinkedIn profile apart from your competition. We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” but I continue to see that few people realize the power of this philosophy. LinkedIn provides you an opportunity to expand that “who you know” professionally field more than any other social networking platform.
That being said, I’m seeing a lot more marketing mistakes made by LinkedIn users than any other social networking website, starting with the summary, or, the biography you are allowed to write about yourself.
Before you get into the “Five Tips,” take a second and think about what your goal is on LinkedIn. Are you trying to get a job? Promote your company? Meet new clients? Meet joint venture partners? List out the goal (or goals) that you have on LinkedIn, and shift your summary around that.
5 tips to writing a good LinkedIn Summary:
- Write From the 1st Person – The biggest mistake I’ve seen is someone writing a company biography, rather than an actual self-written, down-to-earth summary about themselves. Your LinkedIn profile is promoting YOU as a professional, and your LinkedIn summary should be written as such. The “third person” type biographies and summaries are very professional—when written by a PR company. You’re trying to sell you as a professional, not a third person insight as to what you might be like.
- Have a Format – A successful LinkedIn summary follows a very basic, three part format: First, introduce yourself and talk about who you are. Make people see you as an interesting person, not a faceless company. Talk about how you came to where you are today. Secondly, talk about who THEY are, meaning who do you help? Write a description of who your target client is (subtly it key here). Finally, finish by talking about what you offer. Don’t give away everything here, just talk about what you mainly do, and how people can benefit from it. Finish off with a couple of forms of contact (like a phone number and email address) people can reach you on.
- Multiple Businesses? Have a Different Structure – If you are involved in multiple businesses, use the same method as above but separate your businesses when you get to step two and three. A very basic, paragraph style layout is clutch. Make sure it is easily broken up, and can be easily followed.
- Use Keywords – Integrate keywords that your target market would type into Google to find you. Do this tastefully. If someone is looking for your niche, these keywords will stand out to them. This is a huge part of your LinkedIn summary, and greatly impacts how you rank in the internal LinkedIn search engine. Many business owners and professional search for other professionals through the LinkedIn search feature. While ranking your profile is a different topic (and has a lot to do with how many connections you have) keywords play a huge part in outranking your competitors.
- Invite Them – Finally, invite them to connect on LinkedIn! It’s important to always be growing your network, as LinkedIn’s search feature is VERY connection driven (as I spoke about previously). Not only that, Nero-marketing studies have proven time and time again that simply adding a section where you are “asking” the person to do what you want them to do, greatly increases conversion rates. In this case, it will increase the amount of quality professionals in your field that wish to connect with you.
Implement those tips into your summary, and you’ll have a much more professional looking profile.
Image: Credit Nan Palmero